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Short-term space weather forecast A.A. Petrukovich Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences with contributions from G.N.Zastenker, V.M.Linkin, N.A.Eismont. What is space weather ? Why is it important ? Short-term forecast - concept - quality - real-time system.

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Short-term space weather forecast

A.A. Petrukovich

Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences

with contributions from G.N.Zastenker, V.M.Linkin, N.A.Eismont

  • What is space weather ?

  • Why is it important ?

  • Short-term forecast

    - concept

    - quality

    - real-time system


Sun is a very stable star

Total solar energy flux -

SOLAR CONSTANT

1.5 kW per 1 sq. m.


active sun: ~0.1% solar constant

cycle with 11 (22) years

energy from heat is accumulated

in extra magnetic field and released

sun spots

solar flares

coronal mass ejections

geomagnetic storms


1. Sunspot – signature of extra magnetic energy

2. Solar flare in soft X rays –

explosive release of energy

3. Subsequent coronal mass ejection:


Summary of solar emissions

  • Solar UV - variable

  • 2. Solar X-ray - sporadic from solar flares

  • 3. Solar cosmic rays - sporadic from solar flares

  • 4. Solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field

  • - permanent flow thermal expansion of solar plasma

  • - magnetic clouds sporadic from solar flares


  • Solar wind & interplanetary magnetic field interact

  • with Earth magnetic field

  • Steady solar wind flow create magnetosphere from the pure dipole

  • Everyday interplanetary variations create geomagnetic activity

    energy from solar wind powers up magnetospheric dynamics

  • Magnetic clouds – anomalously intense solar wind and IMF

    create geomagnetic storms


Earth is inside an electromagnetic system:

energy of geomagnetic storm

is measured by megatons of TNT

All sorts of radiation and

Electromagnetic influence:

Radio, satellites, …, humans


Radiation damage to electronics

Radiation threat to crews,

Especially future interplanetary flights

Spacecraft effects

Electrostatic discharge on spacecraft surface


Telecommunications

In XIX cent. space weather effects were observed in wire telegraph lines

short wave telecom

radars

space telecom

GPS/GLONASS



Summary of space weather

Space weather is due to solar activity

and plasma environment of Earth

Sporadic intensifications “storms” are due to solar flares

and magnetic clouds in solar wind affecting Earth

Space weather is basically “one for all” – storms are global

Monitoring and forecast are important for many technical systems

in space and on ground


Our interest

Summary of forecast

long term (months and years) – cycle progression

time-series analysis no hurry

mid term (weeks) – variability due to rotation (27 days) “recurrence”

no hurry

flare warning (days & hours) – probability of a flare in given sunspot

complexity analysis real time

short term (days & hours) – probability of magnetic storm after

flare registration

propagation analysis real time

short term (hours) – storm development based on near Earth solar wind

time series analysis real time

Physics-based models (requiring HPC) are not competitive currently

but will be ?


solar wind-based short-term forecast: IKI studies

Monitoring of interplanetary medium in front of the Earth is currently the only tool to provide reliable quantitative, but short-term, space weather forecast.

A L1 Sun-Earth libration point, 1.5 mln km from the Earth, is a convenient place with the lead time of a forecast of about 1 hour.

Solar wind: 400-1000 km/s: 1.5-3 days

Geomagnetic

storm

Solar storm

3-day forecast

50% reliability

Solar light: 300 000 km/s: 8 min

1 hour forecast

>90% reliability

Libration point

1.5 mln km

150 mln km


reliability of the L1 monitor due to natural variability of solar wind

measurements of

solar wind and IMF

(1996-1999)

Wind (distant)

and

Interball (near-Earth)


probability of different (by 15%) measurements solar wind

of energy input ~VB2 to the magnetosphere

magnetic storm (> 1016 J)

predictions are reliable,

while

substorm predictions

are uncertain.

! role of small variations

and discontinuities

Petrukovich et al,JASTP, 2001.


Geomagnetic indices solar windAL and Kp (measures of magnetic fluctuations) are used as general indicators

Future or current indices might be estimated with real-time solar wind.

the main problem:

significant scatter of index

(uncertainty of magnetospheric dynamics)

with respect to solar wind input

solar wind driving function

~ VBns


ACE L1 monitoring solar wind

available in

INTERNET


ACE L1 solar windmonitoring

Unreliable measurements (marked by team)

error codes ACE in 2001

IMF 5.5%

SW 20%

intervals > 20 min long

IMF 3.9%

SW 3.9%

IMF & SW 2.1%

major reserve: accept data even if it is flagged

Internet availability errors add less than 1 %


ACE L1 monitoring solar wind

ACE data physical quality: real-time and final data compared

2001

IMF clock angle

wrong by 20-50o

in 1997-2004!

30% error in Bns!

corrected only

in 2004


Space Research Institute solar wind

Index

models

Format &

delivery

Internet

Activity

estimates

Consumer

Blocks

NOAA/

SEC

download

& check

IKI solar wind forecast system

  • download

  • data quality check and filling gaps

  • advection time to Earth

  • activity estimates

  • specific predictions

  • product delivery


IKI solar wind forecast system solar wind

Examples of general products

Overview plots for “now” and +1 hour

http://www.iki.rssi.ru/forecast

since 1999


future solar wind monitors solar wind

  • using micro satellites

  • placing monitor further away from the Earth

    • Not so far to preserve forecast quality

    • Solar sail is the only solution to keep spacecraft with Earth

solar wind: 400-1000 km/s: 1.5-3 days

geomagnetic

storm

solar storm

2 hour forecast

1 hour forecast

>90% reliability

Libration point

1.5 mln km

3 mln km from Earth

solar gravity

in balance with

Earth gravity+

light pressure

solar gravity

in balance with

Earth gravity

Earth gravity

larger than

solar gravity


future solar wind monitors solar wind

  • hardware

  • instruments:

  • Magnetometer

  • solar wind sensor

  • Cosmic ray sensor

  • total data flow ~100 bits/sec.

  • Total scientific payload weight 2 kg

"standing point" at 3 mln km

requires a spacecraft ~ 25 kg with solar sail ~1000 sq m

or ~ 150 kg with solar sail ~6000 sq m

sails are made with thin polymer films

initial Solar sail deployment tests are underway world wide.


A 2009 forecast solar wind

Grand solar minima

A 2007 forecast

Solar wind now on minimum level in 50 years of observations

Solar min

In 2008

a very deep

solar min

in 2009

What about a new solar cycle ?

A 2004 forecast

Solar min in

2007


Earth as space ecosystem solar wind

Life depends on Space:

Earth climate driven by constant solar energy


Earth as space solar windecosystem

Life depends on Space:

Earth climate driven by constant solar energy

!

Solar system climate: solar activity, solar evolution, orbit interactions


Earth as space solar windecosystem

Life depends on Space:

Earth climate driven by constant solar energy

Solar system climate: solar activity, solar evolution, orbit interactions

!

Galaxy climate: local interstellar medium and galactic cosmic rays


CONCLUSIONS solar wind

  • Short-term forecast is an important part of space weather services and is relatively novel technology

  • Real-time data analysis tools (image and time series processing)

  • are necessary

  • Internet technologies are vital to create and use such forecast

  • Proper data conditioning is an important task

Thank you !


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